Restaurant Brands International, the parent company of Burger King, dangled an awfully large carrot to lure Patrick Doyle to the company.
The Toronto-based brand operator, which also owns Tim Hortons, Popeyes and Firehouse Subs, paid Doyle $117 million in stock and option awards last year as an incentive to become the company’s executive chairman. He is not taking a salary to take that position and is not eligible for bonuses.
Doyle invested $30 million into RBI stock as part of the deal and agreed to keep it in the company for five years.
The former CEO of Domino’s Pizza stands to earn much more than that based on the company’s performance over the next five years, so long as RBI’s stock increases 10% per year over that period. “The growth opportunity we have in our brands is why I invested $30 million of my own money on my way in the door and locked it up for five years,” he said in February. “So I’m all in.”
Jose Cil, who recently stepped down as RBI’s CEO to make way for Josh Kobza, was paid $17 million last year, a $3 million raise from the $14 million he made in 2021, according to SEC filings. Kobza, who was the chief operating officer last year, received $13.4 million in salary, bonuses and stock awards.
Doyle spent eight years as CEO of Domino’s before he retired in 2018. During his time with the company, Domino’s staged one of the most successful brand turnarounds in industry history.
He largely remained out of the spotlight since, but his history made him a potentially valuable commodity. RBI finally lured him in November with a valuable deal, hoping that he can bring at least some of the success he enjoyed at Domino’s over to its fast-food concepts.
But RBI is more complex, owning four different brands at different stages of growth, including a dominant Canadian concept in Tim Hortons, a global powerhouse struggling at home in the U.S. in Burger King, a growing chicken concept in Popeyes and a largely U.S.-centric sandwich chain in Firehouse.
RBI has not quite lived up to its performance in part because of challenges at its biggest brands. First, Tim Hortons struggled and required investment to be turned around. And then Burger King struggled in the U.S., prompting the company to invest $400 million in remodels and marketing.
The brand’s challenges have been accentuated by the bankruptcies of two large-scale operators in Meridian Restaurants Unlimited and Toms King. The latter was just sold out of bankruptcy to four buyers for $33 million. Meridian just closed 27 of its locations. Another franchisee closed 26 restaurants in Michigan.
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